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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Wed 23 Sep, 2015 12:30 am    Post subject: Two Compound-hilted Longswords         Reply with quote

These two 16th century longswords have complex compound-hilts and are mounted onto twin-fullered blades of hexagonal cross-section. One blade is a typical Oakeshott Type XIX with the characteristic ricasso, the other was made without the ricasso.

Each blade has incised lines and diamonds surrounding twin fullers, ending with a cross. This ornamentation forms a stylized rosary.

The hilts were made by E.B. Erickson as two separate commissions. Arms & Armor created the custom blades and mounted the completed swords.

You can read more about the sword with the downward-sloping quillons and the antiques that inspired it in this topic.
Overall: 48.8" long; Blade: 40.6" long by 1.5" wide; Weight: 3.55 pounds

You can read more about the sword with the splayed-out pommel/finials and the waffled "back of the hand" guard and the antiques that inspired it in this topic.
Overall: 48.4" long; Blade: 40.6" long by 1.5" wide; Weight: 3.67 pounds

Photos below. You can click them for higher-resolution versions or go to my Facebook album to see them in even larger resolution.









Click photos for larger versions

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Paul Watson




Location: Upper Hutt, New Zealand
Joined: 08 Feb 2006

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PostPosted: Wed 23 Sep, 2015 2:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

They are both stunning swords. Both the detail of the hilts and blades are impressive. How does having so much mass to form the guard affect the handling?Does it give swords of this nature their own distinctive feeling?
I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, but that which it protects. (Faramir, The Two Towers)
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Julien M




Location: London
Joined: 14 Sep 2005

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PostPosted: Wed 23 Sep, 2015 2:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Seeing this makes me want to bin my worthless little sword collection. These two swords are simply amazing to behold.

Cheers,

J
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Theo Squires





Joined: 23 Jul 2012

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PostPosted: Wed 23 Sep, 2015 6:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I like them both so much. Cry I'd love to see them in person one day.
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Stephen Curtin




Location: Cork, Ireland
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PostPosted: Wed 23 Sep, 2015 2:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Congrats Nathan on two beautiful pieces.
Éirinn go Brách
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Scott Kowalski




Location: Oak Lawn, IL USA
Joined: 24 Nov 2006

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PostPosted: Wed 23 Sep, 2015 7:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Those both look fantastic Nathan! I especially like the "back of the hand guard" hilt. A very unique method to add some protection to the front hand on the grip. While previously my interest lay with earlier blades I find myself wanting to get one of these latter blade styles with a complex hilt. Just to add something different to my collection.
Chris Landwehr 10/10/49-1/1/09 My Mom
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Wed 23 Sep, 2015 7:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan, those are gorgeous swords, the compound hilts are amazing. Big Grin Cool

Oh, for those looking for compound hilted longswords Del Tin makes 3 that I found on the Kult of Athena site: They are decent looking but obviously not as high end as Nathan's sword shown here, but maybe interesting if one wants to experience handling a compound hilted longsword without the costs and wait times of high end custom work ? ( Or even use the Del Tins for HEMA practice ? )

This one look really interesting, DT 6164:

http://www.kultofathena.com/images/DT6164BK_3_l.jpg

The DT 6168 seems to use a very similar compound guard, and I own one of these, a more cutting specialized blade:

http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...Half+Sword

Finally, the DT 2160 which I think Del Tin has been making for a long time, with the two others being more recent offerings:

http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...Half+Sword

Getting back to Nathan's swords: I would be curious to see the one with the side disk in hand(s), and does it restrict it more to right handed usage ?

EDITED: Looking again at the pics I paid more attention to the blades made by A&A and they also deserve a lot of praise and attention, but my eyes where initially attracted to the splendid hilts.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Tim Harris
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
Joined: 06 Sep 2006

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PostPosted: Wed 23 Sep, 2015 8:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

These are superb. Congratulations!
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Wed 23 Sep, 2015 8:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Paul Watson wrote:
They are both stunning swords. Both the detail of the hilts and blades are impressive. How does having so much mass to form the guard affect the handling?Does it give swords of this nature their own distinctive feeling?


A properly made compound-hilted sword of any kind (longsword, basket-hilt, rapier, whatever) doesn't really feel as though it has a lot of mass near the hilt. Let's keep in mind that blades on these types of swords are often quite robust; they have to be, as putting a lightweight blade on a heavy hilt would make it dynamically strange. A great number of rapiers are quite a bit more substantial, as an example, than many modern enthusiasts might imagine them to be. Compound-hilts mounted on lighter blades have thinner hilt components and less mass to compensate.

I haven't fully measured the two swords as far as point of balance or center of percussion, but in the hands, these swords don't feel particularly different than a regular-hilted longsword like an Albion Earl, Ringneck, Gallowglass, or the like. That isn't to say it has the same characteristics of these particular swords, because they are all quite different... but it is to say that the compound-hilt doesn't create a drastically different feel to it.

Conversely, a poorly made sword with any ol' blade slapped onto a compound-hilt will create a dynamically crappy sword. Compound-hilted longswords of the 16th century are, in many parts, an extremely developed type of weapon at the height of sword design.

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Wed 23 Sep, 2015 9:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Jean-

Those Del Tins are really heavy and will not give an impression of these later, highly developed longswords. Personally, I would not recommend them.

The DT6164 is really a two-hander... a bit short, but that's what it is. The one I handled was super heavy in the hand... really difficult to handle. I'm suspicious of the DT6168; but I haven't handled it. The DT2160 is a beautiful sword. I've owned it twice. They are completely dead in the hand and feel super heavy.

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Getting back to Nathan's swords: I would be curious to see the one with the side disk in hand(s), and does it restrict it more to right handed usage ?


The hilt is a right-handed hilt. Look at the recurved quillons. It can be used either way, but it's made for a right-handed person.

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Looking again at the pics I paid more attention to the blades made by A&A and they also deserve a lot of praise and attention, but my eyes where initially attracted to the splendid hilts.


The blades are fantastically detailed... and even more importantly, Craig at A&A made extremely functional, well-balanced, fantastic handling swords. He understands Oakeshott Type XIX blades, German longsword techniques, and how to create these types of swords as a whole

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep, 2015 4:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've taken photos of these two swords alongside other longswords in the 16th century style. You can see them in my Facebook album.


 Attachment: 735.37 KB
16thCenturyLongswords.png
A group of 16th century styled longswords with compound hilts

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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
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PostPosted: Fri 25 Sep, 2015 1:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I know the hilts are the stars of this show, but I really like the blades. Rather pointy for XIX, like long fangs: gives them a very predatory look.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Fri 25 Sep, 2015 3:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J.D. Crawford wrote:
I know the hilts are the stars of this show, but I really like the blades. Rather pointy for XIX, like long fangs: gives them a very predatory look.


I know what you're saying... and I once really found the hilts to be the star of the show as you say. Now days, the real star is the whole of the sword and in this case, the blades made by Arms & Armor really shine.

We really tried to go after the flavor of these two swords, shown below. As you say, they're quite acute at their tips. Oakeshott Type XIX blades, with their hexagonal cross-sections, are really quite meaty, substantial and stiff. In the case of longswords like the two shown in this topic, the last third of their blades gets thinner as well as narrower, making it almost feel like having a sharp knife at the end of a robust blade.

Two inspirations for the blade:





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